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Cambodia bans 'wombs for rent'

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016

Cambodia's health ministry has banned surrogate pregnancy in the country.

A ministerial order stipulates that "Surrogacy, one of a set of services to have a baby by Assisted Reproductive Technology, is banned completely."

The directive does not provide for penalties for violations nor specify what will happen to mothers who are in the middle of the process.

Health centres that wish to continue offering surrogacy services will have to seek special permission from the ministry.

Surrogacy services began in Cambodia at the end of 2014 after the prohibition or strict regulation of surrogacy in India, Nepal and Thailand following several malpractice cases.

Surrogate mothers in Cambodia receive close to $US10,000 ($A13,000) while the cost of the entire process is between $US30,000 and $US45,000, much less than in other countries.

At least 200 couples have begun surrogate maternity services in Cambodia, according to the website of Families Through Surrogacy.

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